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AEW's Saraya was on Chris Jericho's Talk Is Jerich podcast this week to talk about her WWE run, her exit from the company, and signing with AEW.

Saraya was asked what her mindset was when she thought her career might be over:

“Awful. The only thing is, I was in a better mindset because if it was a couple years before, I would have spiraled 100%. But at that point, I was I was just like, you know what? I can't hit rock bottom again. I can only continue and try and do other things. But then you know, I got to be GM and I loved it, but then that kind of got cut short as well and I never really understood why because it was a great gig and I feel like everyone liked it. I never got anything negative from it. It was just shocking.”

"Road Dogg called me the day before I was supposed to fly out. Road Dogg is so sweet. He's always trying to baby me. He was just like, 'So we're probably not gonna do the GM anymore, so you won't have to come to work tomorrow, and then he decided that I was going to come and do a goodbye speech of GM, which I thought was really sweet too. So I ended up flying in and doing that first segment of the show and then flying back. Then I was sitting on my ass for years.”

"I remember contacting them, Mark Carrano, just everybody, even WWE studios. I contacted them and was like, 'If you want me to do media, I can do that. If you want me to do this, I can do that. If you want me to do managerial work.’ I think Ronda needed a mouthpiece at the time. I was pitching to work on doing that. I was constantly pitching all these different ideas and just being a manager in general, because, you know, I was doing managerial stuff for a bunch of women. I was like,’ I can do these things. I'm available. Just let me know.’ But I end up sitting in my house for like, three or four years. That's the most depressing thing because you just feel like you're completely useless. Then you can't go and do anything else because you're under a contract where even though you're an independent contractor, you still have to get permission to do stuff and then it would get turned down. It used to really just get to me a lot. I never used to be vocal about it until they tried to take my Twitch away. I was just like, there's absolutely no way you're going to take my Twitch away from me. I remember Vince's assistant called me at the time. He only did one phone call. He was just like, 'Well, you need to give us a percentage of this.' If I spoke to Vince, he would have been way more chill about it, I believe, but his assistant just had a fu**ing stick up his ass.”

The advice Saraya gives to the young talent on not taking so many bumps:

"Now I tell people if girls come up to me or guys come up to me about advice when they first get into business, I was like, 'You don't have to take as many bumps. I know it's cool at the time and you think the match is cool, but the thing that they will remember is your entrance. You want to look good gear wise and then develop a good finish and get a good move set, and you're good to go. You don't have to take bump, bump, bump bump. Because if you take all these bumps in like one match, what are you going to do for the next match?’”

Saraya said the movie, Fighting with my Family, was almost stopped in production due to Saraya’s personal problems:

"It went into production, but it took years to be made. It was going to be stopped at one point because of me doing drugs and just being an absolute chaotic psychopath. It was not good press at all and I was just completely crazy. So at one point, they were scared that I was going to die first of all, but also they were just like, 'This movie is just bad timing because she's just not getting any better.' So at one point, I think it was Carrano that reached out to me and he was just like, 'You need to get it together. There's gonna be a lot of things that are just going to be thrown away.’ So there were a lot of wake up calls, but eventually, obviously, I did leave Texas and come back to Florida and get back in the ring again, and then the movie was finally made."

On other possible names NXT suggested to her to use when she first started for them:

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"They wanted to call me Echo because they thought it was goth, and I was like that's a dolphin name. I'm gonna be freaking ridiculed if I walk out to Echo. They were trying to find me edgy names and they were like, 'Mara', and I was like, 'Why Mara?' They were like, 'Well, the girl with a dragon tattoo Mara, Rooney', and I was just like, 'No, I don't feel Mara either.'”

On almost signing with WWE:

"I was thinking about it. I was just like, okay, because, again, I don't have issues with WWE. I just wish that some things were done differently and that's the only thing I have against them is that there's so many years where I could have been utilized more. That's the thing that really just, I mean, my friends were around me that I was just so depressed about it. Then I got on the phone with Tony and he was so excited. I was just like, you know what? I think we're gonna give this a shot.”

Jericho said he told Tony after some time passed that Saraya was ready to sign with WWE and to call her:

"I know that Tony has so much going on. I'm like, 'You got to call. her.' He's like, 'I'm gonna call her.' Then Mox goes, 'We got to get Saraya.' I said, 'I've been working on it because I think she's going back to WWE. I overheard a conversation or whatever.' Saraya said, 'Yea, me and Renee.’ Jericho said, That's when I called Tony and said, 'Dude, you got to call her now.’"

Saraya added, “I understand Tony's busy. He has two different football teams, like British and American, but then also this big company that he has to run. So I understand he's busy. Trust me, I get it. But it was just like, a few months had gone by and I was just like, alright, well, I feel like he's not really interested. That's okay. Like, that's totally fine. So I was getting the calls for WWE, and I was just like, oh, man, should I? Am I gonna be 100% happy going back? Then again, you guys called me and I was just like, you make it sound so exciting.”

“Renee and I are best friends. I frickin love her. She's an absolutely fantastic human. I just feel like she's one of those people who's always gonna be honest with you. She doesn't have a bad bone in her body. So I would always just go to her and be like, 'What do you think I should do?' She was like, 'Selfishly, I'd want you to go to AEW.' Then she was like, 'Let me get you on the phone with Jon.' I was just like, 'Oh, here we go.'"

On describing being in AEW:

"Tony said, 'We don't take anything from you. You can do anything you want. I won't ask for a percentage in anything. You get to keep 100% of it.' He was like, 'As long as you turn up for work, I'm happy.' He was like, 'Even if you didn't want to go to work, you just have to let me know.' He's just so relaxed. It's just a whole different dynamic and it's something you have to get used to. I always say it's like an animal that got rescued. You're so used to a strict parent or something like that, and then you get given to like a millennial couple and I'm gonna give you all these bells and whistles and you can do whatever you want."

If you use any portion of the quotes from this article please credit Talk Is Jericho with a h/t to for the transcription.